PD Ports volunteers support to combat holiday hunger across South Tees

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

PD Ports is proudly supporting a food re-distribution initiative to help combat holiday hunger in the Middlesbrough area.

PD Ports, FareShare NE and Middlesbrough Environment City are working together with frontline charity Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland to redistribute thousands of food parcels across South Tees.

The Summer Feast of Fun at Home programme distributes food parcels full of essentials such as breakfast cereals, pasta and beans, to ensure that families in South Tees, who would usually benefit from free school meals, don’t go without throughout the school holidays.

Each week, the port operator is sending one of its HGVs to collect 20 palettes worth of supplies from Fareshare NE’s Newcastle-based warehouse before storing the goods, free of charge, in a warehouse at Teesport whilst they await collection by Together Middlesbrough & Cleveland ready for doorstep distribution.

Russell Spink, general manager North at PD Ports, organised the logistical support for the scheme.

He said: “When we heard about the opportunity to get involved with the initiative we knew we wanted to do absolutely all that we could to support it and help to combat holiday hunger.

“As one of the largest employers in the Tees Valley, we pride ourselves on supporting the communities in which we operate.

“When Middlesbrough Environment City reached out to us for support, we made the decision to volunteer our services to ensure that families can continue to receive support and supplies during these challenging times.”

The initiative has been made possible after charitable partners, such as Fareshare NE, received a share of the £16m government funding through DEFRA allocated to provide food for those struggling as a result of Covid-19.

Jake Hanmore, general manager of Fareshare NE, said: “The generosity of PD Ports to donate warehousing space and logistical support to help this initiative come to fruition in South Tees is amazing.

“By working alongside local partners, much-needed food and drink is being made available to frontline community groups that are doing the humbling work of getting meals to the most vulnerable in society during this ongoing crisis.”

Dr Mark Fishpool, director of Middlesbrough Environment City, said: “”MEC is extremely grateful to both PD Ports and Fareshare NE for all their support in making this initiative happen.

“This food will help families during these more immediate difficult times while local partners, including the Middlesbrough Food Power Alliance, work with our local communities to find longer term solutions to food poverty.”

Kate Jeffels, chief officer of Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland and coordinator of the Summer Feast of Fun at Home programme, said: “This is an amazing amount of food that has been donated by DEFRA, through Fareshare NE and, thanks to the logistical support of PD Ports and MEC, it will make an enormous difference to our groups who can now deliver many more food parcels across South Tees.”

Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston also praised PD Ports for volunteering its support, adding: “I love PD Ports – this fantastic gesture tells Teesside everything we need to know about this organisation.

“Thank you, PD Ports, for your support of our brilliant area and for helping to look after the people of Teesside via this fantastic initiative.”

Other charities or groups who are able to provide emergency food to help combat holiday hunger can contact Middlesbrough Environment City on 01642 579820.